Which witch? Homonyms and Homophones

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SWBAT identify homophones and homonyms within a story and be able to write their own sentences that use them.

Big Idea

Homonyms and homophones can be very fun when students realize what happens when you use the wrong word or when one word can be a verb and noun. This lesson explores these words and has some fun with learning them.

Define and Read Aloud

8 minutes

To start I write the words homophone and homonym onto the white board. I then ask if anyone can remember what the words mean. My class gives me some pretty good guesses. I go ahead and define the word for them and write the definition onto the board. I give a few examples of both. I use "ran" for the homophone, and witch and which for the homonym. 

The class got excited because these types of words sound fun. It's always a good feeling when they show some excitement and interest into a language lesson. 

I am going to read to them a book and I ask them just to listen and try to pick out the words that are homophones or homonyms. The books by Fred Gwynne are perfect because they are about a little girl who mixes homonyms up. I start by reading his book, A Chocolate Mousse for Dinner. After I read a page I ask the class to tell me the homonym or homophone that was on that page. This is good practice and confidence building for doing it on their own.


Collecting Homonyms and Homophones

8 minutes

Now that they have the idea of what we are listening and looking for I am going to read another Fred Gwynn book, The King Who Rained. This time I will read each page twice and then give them a few seconds to write the homonym onto their white board. Instead of calling on students right away to share, I am just going to read and they are going to collect the homonyms. 

When we come to the end of the book, I will now go back through it and have them share what they wrote. As we share I want to help them understand why a particular word is a homonym or homophone. One way to do this, is to have them use the word correctly in a sentence to show it's true use. 


Pair Practice

14 minutes

Now it is time for them to practice using homonyms. I found a list of homonyms on the internet and posted it onto the Promethean Board. We then read some of them on the list to show how the list was structured. I then put students into pair groups and assigned a set of homonyms to them. 

The task the pairs will complete is creating successful sentences that demonstrate the correct use of the words. The pair will split the words between them and each of them will create a sentence on their white board. They need to share it with each other to check for correct usage and any grammar mistakes. 

Quick Check

5 minutes

As the groups finish their work I ask the groups to share their sentences. As a class, we check their work with a thumbs up. If the class agrees that the sentence is correct, they give a thumbs up. I have walked around and helped pairs that need more guided practice. I am now just listening and checking their understanding as they share.